Hi, I am Shelby F. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2017, 03:37 PM   #1
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Name: Shelby
Trailer: In the market
Missouri
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Hi, I am Shelby F.

Hi everyone,

I'm Shelby, I am in my 20's and am a travel nurse. I don't currently own a camper but am doing research to find which one will be best for my lifestyle. I am looking for something that is light enough to be pulled by a 2015 Subaru Forester, and would be appropriate to live in for 3 months at a time.

Any information or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:17 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Hi, Shelby!

Check your owner's manual- I think you are limited to 1500 pounds towing capacity. If so, unless you can live without a bathroom, I think you're going to be out of luck.

Scamp does make a 13' trailer (which has a 10'x6.5' cabin) with a full bathroom, but it will weigh around 1800 pounds loaded and have a tongue weight of around 225-250 pounds. That is simply too much for a late model Forester.

Without a bathroom you can find 13'ers down to about 1300 pounds, but most weigh 1500-1700 pounds loaded.

Something like a Ford Escape or Hyundai Santa Fe Sport with a turbo-4 engine and a 3500 pound tow rating would give you a lot more options.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:54 PM   #3
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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A Meerkat Meerkat Teardrop Camper - Small Camping Trailer Dealer in California | Little Guy Trailers would be light enough, but no bathroom and limited storage.

Taylor Coach in Hamilton Ontario makes some really lightweight 12'-15' models that have a bath & shower option. Taylor Coach - Welcome

Weiscraft Ponderosa comes close, but it's right at your limit without adding any gear to the interior.

Eureka of Columbia TN https://www.eurekacampersinc.com/ makes some small, affordable trailers that might work, but I don't see their specs listed any longer so I can't be sure.

Not many options. The older Subies had a little bit higher tow rating (still 200 lbs hitch weight limit though) and one of them might have stretched your possibilities a little bit.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Keep in mind the cost of repairs on vehicle that is stretched to or beyond its limit.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:28 PM   #5
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Welcome Shelby, even though this is a molded trailer site, I'm going to toss out another idea for you. Being you car seems a bit weak for a trailer, maybe look into a smaller used class C motorhome and tow the car for getting around. When you do replace the tug with something better suited for towing, you'll have some RV experience under your belt. Visiting a few FG rallies would give you good look at the different molded TTs out there too. So with that being said, I'm ready for the beatings to begin from my molded member friends .
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Welcome Shelby, even though this is a molded trailer site, I'm going to toss out another idea for you. Being you car seems a bit weak for a trailer, maybe look into a smaller used class C motorhome and tow the car for getting around. When you do replace the tug with something better suited for towing, you'll have some RV experience under your belt. Visiting a few FG rallies would give you good look at the different molded TTs out there too. So with that being said, I'm ready for the beatings to begin from my molded member friends .
I'll bite...

Automatic transmission Subarus cannot be flat towed. Manuals are okay.

Disadvantages of this plan:
  • Two drivetrains to maintain.
  • Tires- six expensive tires on a Class C versus two inexpensive tires on a small trailer.
  • Higher insurance cost for Class C compared to trailer.
  • And, of course, seam maintenance, delamination, etc. on a non-molded RV.

Even assuming you take a hit of a few thousand dollars upgrading the tow vehicle, I still think the small molded trailer route will cost a lot less in the long run compared to purchasing and maintaining a motorhome.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I'll bite...

Automatic transmission Subarus cannot be flat towed. Manuals are okay.
Disadvantages of this plan: Two drivetrains to maintain.
Tires- six expensive tires on a Class C versus two inexpensive tires on a small trailer.
Higher insurance cost for Class C compared to trailer.
And, of course, seam maintenance, delamination, etc. on a non-molded RV.
Even assuming you take a hit of a few thousand dollars upgrading the tow vehicle, I still think the small molded trailer route will cost a lot less in the long run compared to purchasing and maintaining a motorhome.
All valid points Jon and I was hoping her Suby was a stick. Just kind of goes against my thoughts of having to lose a bunch of $ trading off such a new vehicle. I've had a few stickies, C & As and maybe I was just lucky, only had to replace one set of tires and never had any drivetrain troubles. Any interior appliance fix or replacement is the same $. Insurance costs, kind of a wash to me but I'm in CA, need I say more on that . Basically, it sounded to me that she is new to RVs and could accomplish her housing needs this way with more living space, learn a bit about RVs and not be out much after the Suby's value stabilizes.
BTW Jon, you'll have to get a bigger stick.....you didn't beat me up at all, cool .
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:40 AM   #8
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
North Carolina
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With your current tow rig, options are very limited. Something like a Hunter Compact Jr might work. The Hunter Jr is usually the lightest F/G trailer out there, or really close to it. The Burro 13 sometimes is close too. There is a spreadsheet with actual tongue weight and trailer weights. Advertised manufacturer weights are always ridiculously lower than real world weights.

Getting a trailer light enough it can be towed with a Forrester will make living in it three months a challenge, BUT, we met a couple that were full timing in a Trillium 1300, no bathroom, no air conditioning, very small, and they loved it (and had been doing it for two years!). (The Trillium 1300 will exceed your tongue weight limit).

Basically, within your figures, you are not going to get a bathroom and you are not going to get an air conditioner.

On the super light weight end of the spectrum, I was going to pull a Bunkhouse pop-up camper behind my Element. The Bunkhouse is meant to be pulled behind a motorcycle, weighs in at about 300 pounds with 40 pound tongue weight. It has a king sized bed and a 5x6 stand up area. OK for a weekend outing.

I ended up selling my Bunkhouse, so that plan is gone.

Here in NC, A/C is a must and I can't see three months full time without a bathroom. But people do it.

You may need to consider an SUV with more tow rating. There are plenty of them out there. Pay attention to tongue weight limit and payload, as you often will run out of those before you run out of tow rating. For example, my F150 has a tow rating of 9,800 pounds, but I run out of payload capacity at less than 5,000 pounds. And tongue weight is limited to 500 pounds too, a 9,800 pound trailer is going to have tongue weight of around 1100 pounds or more.

Tow ratings sell vehicles, but tongue weight and payload that are not mentioned often prevent it.

We all make mistakes, I've made some with several 000's on them for sure. The key is whether we can let go and move on. Sounds like you are there, which makes you a "winner". Losers feel they can't escape and are "stuck".
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